Here is a typical scenario that I went through last week, a friend of mine in Islamabad called me to find few specific books he had to give to his brother visiting from UK, he looked the bookstores in Islamabad and then called me for help, I went through few well known book stores (Visiting them personally are there is no way of getting a list from them remotely)Â to find only 1 of the 8 books that we were looking for, after finding the book I had to send it by TCS to my Friend in Islamabad who then handed it over to the visiting person. If i can sit on my PC go to this website and find out the required titles It would have saved me many hours i went on road.
Here is another scenario a lot of us donâ€™t like to keep a great inventory of books, I like to read books I usually get them from second hand shops (I am only interested in content) after reading they lay around the house ultimately ending up in Garbage or the Raddi Wala Imagine this I can not only get second hand book without moving but also send them after reading for me that is an excellent value proposition after reading if even i get half of what i paid for and hopefully utilize it to get another book for coming weekend it would make my life great.
For Kitabain its a win win situation you will be able to find hard to find titles because people (if its made easy to sell second hand books) will part with read items for newer one.
Technically the site is well laid, the titles are limited but I guess it would start to grow if they are able to get few book stores on board who can update the inventory.
I love the fact that besides the usually online payment thing they have employed easypaisa for payments as well.
My initial advice to them,
1. Build the content as much as they can get as many book stores as you can because ultimately it would be the inventory which will matter (from any one else in getting up and repeating the same thing)
2. Make the process of getting older books from non commercial users easier, place some drop boxes around the town, collect the books from it at regular intervals, put them on sale and after they are bought send the money to owner (after getting your cut). Initially it will be tough and you will get garbage but for each one book that you can sell through this you will have a regular supplier.
3. Repeat the same process for text books, they are the market to get into, if you can get some text books and offer them on lower prices you have a very good chance of creating a regular stream. Offer incentive to people to recycle so for example if my daughter is going from class 3 to 4 and i give you class 3 books to sell maybe i get a priority for getting class 4 books.
4. Implement some sort of wish list feature, I would love to get a copy of lord of the ring trilogy and I am sure some one will happily part with it if it means money, list the wanted books some where (Later you can have some sort of bidding too for rare titles).
5. Get in the community marketing, if you can, spend some time and make a facebook app (for now a fan page will do with an update whenever a book is added)
good luck with the venture.
Including Usman’s comment (he is one of the founders) in the post .
Kitabain.com is our latest initiative towards making books accessible to a wider audience in Pakistan. About 10 months or so ago we started out The Readers Club, Pakistanâ€™s first online book rental service in Karachi (www.thereadersclub.com) with the overriding goal of promoting reading and books before any financial or commercial interests.
It was the overwhelming response and support for The Readers Club, which motivated us to build kitabain.com
For us our success has only been due to the trust our members have placed in us and for that we are eternally grateful to many many people.
Very often we get requests from members for the option to purchase books that theyâ€™d like to hold on to and also a way
to give away books that might be lying around without much use.
Well weâ€™ve tried to put the two requests together along with other ideas to come up kitabain.com
Very happy to report that we already have a few bookstores on board who are just starting to catalog their entire inventories.
We envision it as a platform to enable individual sellers or independent bookstores to instantly make their inventory available to a much wider audience than they can typically hope to with a geographically constrained brick and mortar establishment.
For Buyers; Whether you are looking for the latest releases or something hard-to-find,we hope that you can find it at drastically reduced prices on kitabain.com.
Basic details on how the system works can be found by visiting the FAQ page(or you can call us too anytime):
We eagerly look forward to comments and suggestions from everyone so that we can keep refining the process as we go along. And since we are just starting out please feel absolutely free to report any bugs or omissions that you encounter.
Looking forward to seeing with an account on Kitabain.com soon!